Is the wrong choice wrong if it still brings you to the right place? If it brings about the right opportunities? Teaches you the right lessons? Turns you into the right person?
These are the questions I’ve recently been struggling with. Everyone makes mistakes, makes poor life choices and heads down the wrong path. Every single individual on this planet learns in the same manner: from mistakes.
More than just that, people need to make mistakes in order to learn -- without mistakes, we rarely make the causal connection between our actions and our consequences.
Without experiencing the results of making the wrong decisions, we don’t have sufficient reason to avoid said decisions.
We have no tangible connection with the unpleasantries that are brought about when we make such mistakes. Because of this, we don’t feel the need to avoid repeating them.
In a sense, the only way to live the right life is to first live the wrong one -- and to hate yourself for it.
It’s no secret that the biggest mistakes we make are the ones that affect us the most. It’s these mistakes that have the most dire consequences, ones that are usually irreversible.
I’ve come to believe that the only way to truly make a change -- a significant change -- is to hate yourself for allowing yourself to make the wrong decisions.
It’s not so much about hating the outcome of those decisions. That’s easy. It’s about hating yourself for allowing yourself to make them.
This isn’t the same as hating yourself for making poor decisions. Poor decisions are normally just mistakes, and mistakes are necessary for learning.
It’s when we repeat these poor decisions -- knowing what the outcome will bring, remembering the pain they caused, the way they brought dark clouds over the valley of our reality -- that we need to take a step back and ask ourselves: What the f*ck are we doing?
Here’s the catch. You almost always need to reach this point before you can get a full grasp on your life and your reality.
You need to, at the very least, see the bottom before you can make your way back aboveground.
You need to screw things up so awfully that you learn to never screw the same things up again. Of course, this isn’t the case for everyone. But that’s only because most individuals won’t take the risks necessary to ever find themselves in such situations.
Most people don’t try their luck and push boundaries. Most people avoid making any decisions that could lead to poor outcomes, to uncomfortable or unpleasant situations. Most people live their lives as much inside the safe zone as possible.
So, no. Not everyone will experience such a life change. Not everyone will learn from poor decisions -- because those decisions simply aren’t poor enough. Not all bad decisions bring us to the right places, and only the really bad ones can do this.
I know it sounds like I’m telling you to go out and make bad decisions, but that’s not what I’m doing. I’m telling you to go out there and live your life to the fullest, attempt the impossible and love like there is no tomorrow.
Push the envelope to the max, and you won’t have to try and make the wrong decisions. You’ll do that all on your own. It’s inevitable.
It’s going to hurt like hell. But as long as you decide to make it through, you’ll emerge a better person.
And that’s all that you can really aim for in life: bettering yourself and hoping that you influence the rest of the world. The rest is left to chance.
There are two wrong decisions that have come to define the person that I’ve become. One of these wasn’t even my own. When I was younger and dumber, I walked out on the love of my life.
I knew what she meant to me, but I decided that I wasn’t ready to settle down, that I wasn’t ready to be the man she deserved, that I wasn’t ready to start our life together.
And I was right; I wasn’t ready. But leaving her was still a mistake. It’s the fact that I was able to make that decision -- to abandon her -- that proves that I wasn’t ready.
It proves that I didn’t deserve her and that I had a lot of growing to do. I should have stayed and been there for her, but I wasn’t. And now I have to live with that for the rest of my life.
At the same time, if I hadn’t walked out on her, you wouldn’t be reading this article.
Just the same, one really bad business decision made by my parents -- a decision they should have known to be a poor one -- made me realize that I want to spend my life building companies that need to exist.
It made me accept that I will never be happy working for anyone else. It made me accept that I need to head down a road that may be lonely at times. But it will also open up the possibility of changing the world for the better.
It took my parents' loss of their life savings for me to learn that lesson. We lost a ridiculous amount of money and spent years flying across the globe and trying to remedy the situation in a country where I knew no one and couldn’t even speak the language.
Even I find the amount of stress and tears in the last five years to be impressive. I’m surprised I’m still standing. But you know what? I wouldn’t change a damn thing.
I’m finally in the right place in my life, and if it took what it took to get me here, then so be it. If I can manage that, then believe me... so can you.